Simple Steps to Maintaining Memory

Tipsheet offers strategies to help older adults stay sharp

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

SUNDAY, April 19, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Conquering the world (at least in a video game) is just one of many ways that older adults can fight age-related changes in memory.

In this case, a study found that older adults improved their memory and certain other mental abilities by playing a video game in which they had to use planning and strategy to take over the world, according to the American Geriatric Society's Foundation for Health in Aging.

Other researchers have found that simply expecting to remember things can help older people recall and recollect and that including carbohydrates in the diet and avoiding multi-tasking can also improve memory.

The information is included in a new health tipsheet for older people and their caregivers that summarizes recent memory research and offers tips for improving memory. Advice includes:

  • Memory can be improved through simple lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources such as brain- and heart-healthy fish.
  • Let your doctor know immediately if medication-related side effects seem to be affecting memory.

The tip sheet also offers memory tricks to help people remember, for instance, where they left their car keys and other items.

More information

The American Geriatric Society has more memory tips.

SOURCE: AGS Foundation for Health in Aging, news release, March 2009

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